Can Russell Wilson thrive? Or will Denver starve?
Assistant Sports Editor
During this off-season, the Denver Broncos sent shockwaves across the NFL. In a massive trade with the Seattle Seahawks, the Broncos landed SuperBowl winning quarterback Russell Wilson. The Broncos gave the Seahawks a haul of draft picks, including Denver's first and second round draft picks for the next two seasons along with Shelby Harris, Noah Fant and Drew Lock. Denver filled the hole they’ve been missing ever since Peyton Manning retired and look to have success this season. However this has not been the case.
Coming into this season, the Broncos gained hype surrounding the team and pressure from the owners to succeed. Analysts, and even fans were quick to call them the AFC West’s new favorites, which is already a stacked stacked conference. Wilson is painted out to be the savior of this team – a much needed upgrade to a team that’s defense has always been good, but offense lacking offensively. Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton, the number one and two wide receivers, have been able to produce with different quarterbacks over the years. But Wilson is sought to be miles better than the previous quarterbacks, or so everyone thought.
All the hype surrounding the team has died now, since over this season’s first five weeks, they sit at 2-3. This win/loss record is just barely below .500, and they have yet to make a statement. Wilson has been mediocre so far this year. Over the course of five games, he has thrown for 1,254 yards, with a measly four touchdowns along with three interceptions. Wilson hasn’t looked like the quarterback he once was. So what happened? There is no answer yet, but with Wilson's poor performance, the team can’t succeed. He can be part of the blame for this team’s poor performance, but it's not all on him.
The Broncos have a new rookie head coach in Nathaniel Hackett, who’s also partly to blame. Hackett seems lost as a coach out on that field. He makes questionable decisions, anywhere from play calling to even how he acts around the team. Both Wilson and Hackett seem to lack the competitiveness that’s needed in the game of football. Instead of showing emotions after losing or messing up a play, both act nonchalantly over it like nothing bad happened. Yes, it’s good to keep a positive spirit, but it seems they need to show more involvement and understand what is going wrong with the team.
This past Thursday night, Denver went up against the Indianapolis Colts. Both garnering high expectations for the season, some thought this game would be close. It was, but the final score was 12-9 with the Colts getting the win.
There were a total of seven made field goals with no touchdown scores. The Broncos had a chance to win this game, but Wilson forced the ball to Sutton, and it was broken up by former Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore. In the midst of this, Wilson missed a wide open KJ Hamler. From the snap Wilson was looking for Sutton the whole time, and didn’t even glance to the other side of the field. Hamler was visibly frustrated at that call, and bashed his helmet several times on the field. Wilson nudged off the loss, and showed both no emotion or lack of competitiveness.
The Broncos need to turn it around and have serious conversations if they want to be as good as they initially hoped. Wilson and Hackettt must work it out and become a better team. But for now, the fans will be stuck watching a mediocre Broncos team play in primetime games, which they don’t deserve to be in.